Toms Launches Campaign to End Gun Violence With $5 Million Donation
Toms, the shoe company that donates a pair for every pair purchased, just added another cause to its bottom line: ending gun violence.
Blake Mycoskie, the company’s founder, announced a $5 million donation campaign to end gun violence while a guest on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon Monday night. Fighting back tears, Mycoskie explained how he was personally affected by the recent shootings in Thousand Oaks, Calif., which prompted him to take action.
The announcement means the company will evolve its giving model to include donations to organizations working to end gun violence.
The campaign, which Toms also announced on Twitter, directs users to Toms’ website where the company has created a system by which users enter in their information and a physical postcard is sent to their representative, urging them to pass universal background check legislation.
“This is something that 90% of Americans are in favor of and you can do it in 30 seconds or less on Toms.com,” Mycoskie said on the show.
Toms’ website reads: “In such divided times, it can be hard to remember that we agree on the most basic human issues. All of us deserve access to education, safe water, a place to call home, and a pair of shoes. And none of us want to live in fear of gun violence.”
Mycoskie said in an interview on MSNBC that within the first 12 hours of the campaign’s launch, 58,000 people sent postcards to their representatives.
Toms is no stranger to philanthropy. Since the company was founded in 2006, Toms has donated 60 million pairs of shoes across 70 countries and has added initiatives aimed at providing prescription glasses, clean water, and safer births across the globe.
Mycoskie stepped down as CEO in 2015, but remained with the company to focus on marketing and philanthropy. His job title: Chief Shoe Giver.
“Toms stands for tomorrow and the idea that we can create a better tomorrow,” Mycoskie said in the MSNBC interview.